In vivo anti-influenza virus activity of an immunomodulatory acidic polysaccharide isolated from Cordyceps militaris grown on germinated soybeans

J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Dec 12;55(25):10194-9. doi: 10.1021/jf0721287. Epub 2007 Nov 8.


An acidic polysaccharide (APS) was isolated from the extract of Cordyceps militaris grown on germinated soybeans. Analyses of sugar composition indicated that APS consisted of d-galactose, L-arabinose, D-xylose, L-rhamnose, and D-galacturonic acid. On the basis of the result of methylation analysis, APS was considered to be mainly composed of Araf-(1-->, -->5)-Araf-(1-->, -->4)-Galp-(1--> and -->4)-GalAp-(1--> residues. When the polysaccharide was intranasally administered, it decreased virus titers in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and the lung of mice infected with influenza A virus and increased survival rate. Furthermore, APS increased TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma levels in mice when compared with those of untreated mice. APS enhanced nitric oxide (NO) production and induced iNOS mRNA and protein expressions in RAW 264.7 murine macrophage cells. The induction of mRNA expression of cytokines including IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-alpha was also observed. These results demonstrated that APS might have beneficial therapeutic effects on influenza A virus infection at least in part by modulation of the immune function of macrophages.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line
  • Cordyceps / chemistry*
  • Cordyceps / growth & development
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Germination
  • Glycine max*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Immunologic Factors / isolation & purification
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology*
  • Influenza A virus / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / drug therapy
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / immunology
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / isolation & purification
  • Polysaccharides / therapeutic use*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Polysaccharides